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5 Top Stories

Vision Pro Launch Date; JD.com Controversy; New GSK Acquisition

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

The Vision Pro is Nearly Here

Apple [AAPL] has announced that its flagship Vision Pro mixed-reality headset will go on sale in the US on 2 February. The device will cost $3,499 and will be available for preorder as of 19 January. The launch is the company's biggest since the iPhone was first released in 2007, as it moves to challenge Meta’s [META] predominance in the space. The device has received critical acclaim since its launch last June.

Dodgy Dealings at JD.com’s Dada?

The share price of Dada Nexus [DADA], a prominent unit of JD.com [JD], collapsed by some 46% on Tuesday after the firm revealed that it is investigating “suspicious practices”. These include the overstatement by RMB500m of sales from online advertising, and approximately the same amount in operating and support costs. The firm withdrew its 2023 revenue outlook after the discrepancies were discovered during a routine audit.

New GSK Acquisition

UK-based pharma giant GSK [GSK] has been moving to expand its respiratory diseases portfolio, and on Tuesday the firm announced it is to acquire biotech Aiolos Bio for up to $1.4bn. Founded just three months ago, Aiolos’ asthma treatment AIO-001 is ready to enter mid-stage trials. Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer at GSK, said that the asthma drug could widen the firm’s respiratory biologics portfolio, noting that 40% of severe asthma patients are still in need of treatment.

Samsung Spiral Continues

Samsung Electronics [SSNLF] has reported its sixth quarter in a row of declining profit, in a reflection of waning consumer demand. South Korea’s biggest company posted a 35% drop in operating income to ₩2.8trn, some 24% short of analyst estimates. Revenue likewise dropped further than estimates, to ₩67trn, with Samsung seeing its narrowest operating profit in 15 years.

Few and Far Between: US EV Charging Installations

US electric vehicle (EV) charging installations in 2023 were 76% below BloombergNEF’s forecast for the year. Tesla [TSLA] far outstripped the pack, installing some 6,000, with the next-highest total being EVgo’s [EVGO] 850. BloombergNEF attributes this to a lack of investment from operators, who are awaiting funds associated with the national programme. Chargepoint [CHPT], operator of the US’ largest charging network, saw its market value drop 75% last year.

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